Just finished a mini-conference here locally -- California Central Coast, midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles.
These are the classes I took:
The Art of Rewriting by Earlene Fowler
Clues to Writing Your Mystery Novel by Penny Warner
Unleash Your Creativity by Eric Maisel
Mining Your Muse by Mary Hershey
They were all wonderful--I couldn't choose one that was more informative or enlightening than another, although at this point in my writing, the Creativity and Muse information will be most immediately beneficial. Eric Maisel is a renowned creativity coach and teaches others how to coach as well.
He's got several books out with wonderful tips on breaking through the axiety and tension and distractions that keep us from our creative pursuits. If you get a chance, look up his books on Amazon and pick up a couple. He's going to be doing a Virtual Book Tour via various blogs and I've asked him to stop over at Romance Worth Killing For on his journey. If that happens, I'll be doing a big shout out so others can benefit from his teachings and wisdom.
A few of the gals from my RWA group went to the conference as well. One said she was disappointed, didn't feel she got her money's worth. Another, who didn't go, said she typically doesn't go to conferences because she finds the information from one conference conflicts with information she's received at another conference.
For me, any learning opportunity is a good opportunity. I felt the four courses I took were well worth the $110 bucks I paid for the conference, but then I didn't have to rent a hotel room or spend $ in gas getting there (well, not a lot in gas, anyway).
As far as conflicting information--I've never experienced that. In fact, typically, the information is very similar to what I've already heard, yet I can always find a new morsel reflected differently in the light of someone else's mind and use it.
How do you feel about conferences? What makes them worth the money and time? Do you feel they give conflicting information?